Life certainly has its fair share of ups and downs, but if you tend to focus too much on the negative, it can affect everything you do. By seeing the glass as half full, you'll not only make your day-to-day experiences more enjoyable, but also improve your health (a recent Harvard study found that optimists have lower blood pressure levels, heart disease rates and more). Luckily you're not doomed to a life of glum and gloom—you can actually change your outlook for the better. Read on for nine easy ways to stay on the brighter side of life.
1. Acknowledge what you're grateful for. 学会对生活感恩
One very important component of optimism is gratitude. In fact, a 2003 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that there is a strong connection between a grateful attitude and a heightened sense of well-being. Appreciate all the positives in your life by starting a gratitude journal in order to remember what you're thankful for. "I carry a small notebook in my purse and jot down moments of good in my life," says veteran broadcast journalist Deborah Norville, author of Thank You Power. "When I look back at the entries, seeing the words rekindles the good feelings that prompted me to enter them in the first place." By remembering the pleasant things in your life, you can actually turn a negative attitude around.
2. Fake happiness until you feel it. 在失意的时候伪装快乐
Feeling down? Instead of moping around waiting for the universe to throw you a bone, try acting like you're happy—even if you aren't. "The brain can be influenced top down and bottom up to make changes," says Mark C. Brown, PhD, psychologist and author of the upcoming Live Like a Window, Work Like a Mirror. He explains that a genuine smile and a forced smile will cause the same chemical reactions in your brain, so you can actually fool your mind into feeling better by making it react chemically as if things were going well. "So act in an optimistic way—smile, laugh, tell a joke or reassure yourself that everything is good—even if you don't feel it."
3. Evaluate the good in your life. 每天写几件你生活中的乐事
It's easy to focus on the bad events when they occur, looking at them from all angles in order to find out what went wrong. However, doing the opposite actually helps you become more optimistic. In 2005, Martin Seligman, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, published a study in which he asked a group of people to complete the "Three Good Things" exercise. Every night for six months, participants wrote down three things that went well that day, along with explanations for why they happened. At the end of the study the participants were happier and less depressed than when they started. The idea is that by forcing yourself to think about why good things occur—"My presentation at work went well because I spent a lot of time preparing for it"—you'll start to see your life in a more positive way, helping you to be more optimistic about your future.